Leicester City: Just Amazing
Leicester City have won the Premier League title in one of the greatest sporting stories of all time. Tottenham’s 2-2 draw at Chelsea yesterday confi rmed a stunning achievement for Claudio Ranieri’s side. Leicester started the campaign as 5,000-1 outsiders for the title after almost being relegated last season.
But they have lost just three league games in what has been described as a “fairytale” and the “most unlikely triumph in the history of team sport”.
Closest challengers Spurs, Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United and last year’s champions Chelsea, have all failed to match the Foxes’ consistency across the season. Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri said it was an “amazing feeling” to have steered the club to the first top-flight title in their history. Former Chelsea manager Ranieri, who took charge at the King Power Stadium in July 2015, said: “I’m so proud.
“The players have been fantastic. Their focus, their determination, their spirit has made this possible.” Former Leicester, Everton and England striker Gary Lineker described his hometown team’s achievement as “the biggest sporting shock of my lifetime”. Lineker had suggested the Leicester players were on the “edge of sporting immortality” last month.
“I can’t think of anything that surpasses it in sporting history. It is difficult to put over in words,” he said.
“I got emotional. It was hard to breathe. I was a season ticket holder from the age of seven. This is actually impossible.” After Leicester drew 1-1 at Manchester United last Sunday, Tottenham needed to win all three of their remaining league games to catch the Foxes. But their title hopes were ended when they squandered a 2-0 lead to only draw at London rivals Chelsea. Former Newcastle United, Blackburn Rovers and England striker Alan Shearer said Leicester’s achievement was “the biggest thing ever in football”. Shearer, who won the Premier League in 1995 with underdogs Blackburn, told BBC Sport: “For a team like Leicester to come and take the giants on with their wealth and experience- not only take them on but to beat them- I think it’s the biggest thing to happen in football.”
Gianni Infantino, president of football’s world governing body Fifa, said Leicester’s “beautiful story” was a “fairytale”. The club was also quick to hail the achievement of Ranieri and his players, saying they “have captured the imaginations of football fans around the world with one of the most brilliant and unlikely sporting triumphs ever seen”.
Sports data analysts say Leicester are set for a potential £150m (F$356.87m) boost for winning the title, coming from Premier League prize money, Champions League participation cash, and increased match-day revenues from ticket and hospitality sales.